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Summer Program Planning for High School Students

University of Timbuktu, from a time ago

It’s not too late to plan the summer activity that will be most compelling and rewarding for your high schooler! Summer programs are numerous and varied in nature; we highlight some of them for your consideration and discussion with your teenager when the opportunity presents itself.

  • Adventure and exploration: Whether the destination is soaring mountains, wide oceans, endless deserts, or deep forests, there are myriad options in this category. Some focus on a specific destination, such as a specific region of the United States, another country, a mountain range, or a national park; others embrace a particular type of challenge, from hiking or sailing to participating in an archeological dig or historic restoration. 


  • Language immersion: Whether as a stand-alone opportunity, or in combination with an outdoors or service program, teens are offered the opportunity to develop mastery of a language by living, traveling – and sometimes working – in another location. France, Italy, Spain, and China are popular destinations, but more remote locations such as Morocco and the Galapagos may also beckon.


  • Service: An increasing number of service-focused opportunities are available worldwide for high school students, frequently in developing countries, but also in Europe or the United States. The focus of these programs varies and might include building projects, offering English lessons, or running a summer camp for local children.


  •  Pre-college Prep: Widely available in the United States, but also worldwide, these programs are designed for students who want to embrace academics, expand their worldview, engage with peers and dynamic instructors, and perhaps explore both potential college majors and areas of interest.


  • Career Exploration: Whether domestically or internationally, career programs allow students who are already passionate about a potential professional path, and those who have only a burgeoning interest, to experience it alongside a professional in the field. It might be sustainability and the farm-to-table movement, sports management, journalism, or wildlife conservation.


  • Arts: Many schools offer university-level art programs to developing artists across a range of skill levels and disciplines: theater, music, drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, and illustration – both traditional and digital.


  •  Community and/or Faith: There are a multitude of programs that offer general summer camp activities to foster a sense of communal identity and allow teens to connect more deeply with their faith, ethnicity, or other form of identity.


As the list makes apparent, there is almost no limit to the types of summer programs available to high school students so that they may discover and develop their interests.

Now is the time to think through the options, have conversations with your teen, and begin the process of collecting required documentation (such as passports and birth certificates) and assessing what vaccinations and/or medical clearances might be required.

May you (and they) dream up a great adventure and have fun planning it!

By Timothy Dwyer and Annemiek Young

Timothy Dwyer, President

Annemiek Young, former Bennett Education Consultant, Director of Private Client Relations Emeritus, and good friend . This was her final article before retiring full-time.

Over the years, Bennett International Education Consultancyhas worked with hundreds of corporations across the globe, many of them Fortune 500 companies, providing domestic and international school advisement & placement services - preschool through university - to the dependents of relocating employees. In addition to education placement, our team provides customized consulting for corporations with a range of education issues: education policy writing & benchmarking, tuition studies, group move advisement & planning, and remote education solutions.


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